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Column: Combat litter and give back to the environment | Opinion Columns

Column: Combat litter and give back to the environment | Opinion Columns

This article offers some suggestions for environmental ideas to help you get started during this season of giving.

Readers are aware that the North Augusta recycling center was badly damaged by a recent fire. Recyclables were taken to county landfills until it can be reopened. This situation may be an opportunity to think about ways we can reduce waste and reuse products. Customers can bring their own reusable bags to reduce single-use plastic bags when they shop. Customers can also make a habit of buying items in less, minimal or no plastic packaging. Most plastic packaging is thrown away. Keep an eye out for items such as clothing, jewelry, furniture, and food that can be reused, recycled, or donated to keep them out of landfills.

South Carolina has 40% of its food waste going to landfills. The best way to reduce food waste is to be a smart shopper, and only buy what you’ll eat before it spoils. Learn how to properly freeze and store leftovers. You can donate extra or unneeded items to food banks or soup kitchens. Create a composting method. Dont Waste Food SC is an excellent resource.scdhec.govThis also explains the simple process to become an ambassador against food wastage.

The extra baking and cooking that occurs during this season can lead to a buildup of cooking oil in the household. These oils do not need to clog up drains or septic tank drains. They can be recycled for biofuel. The Green Energy Biofuel Plant located at 2110 Main St., Warrenville, will accept used cooking oil. You can simply put the oil in a glass or plastic container and bring it to the site. The front gate has a place to store your oils.

Consider giving a gift of service. Pick a place or area to pick up litter. Perhaps in your community, church yard, or nearby parks. You will reap many benefits by picking up litter once a week for less than an hours. It beautifies the area, protects soil, animals, and plants from danger, and also provides fresh air, sunlight, and exercise. Pick a safe place and time to pick-up litter, and wear the appropriate clothing. Visit the KACB website for more information aikencountysc.gov/KSCB.

A great resolution for the New Year is to join or form an Adopt-A-Highway Group to pick up an area multiple times throughout the year. This is a great way of interacting with like-minded citizens, making a difference in the environment, and having fun. The KACB website also contains information about the program, Adopt-A-Stream, and Adopt-A-Spot.

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You can give unique gifts made from recycled materials that you can feel good about. These items can include jewelry, artwork, household dcor, clothing, and many more. You can find many creative, clever, beautiful, and useful ideas by searching for gifts made from recycled materials.

Reporting litterbugs is a valuable “gift” for our state and community. This allows you to collect data, identify hotspots, and educate others about litter. It is a good idea to keep these numbers on hand and to report often. Each number listed will remain anonymous, but callers will need to give basic information, such as time and location. The Palmetto Pride Litter Hotline can be reached at 877-754-837. For litter reporting in Aiken County call the county dispatch at 803-642-9000, x.3704. Call 803-642-7620 to report littering. After the fact, call 803-502-4999. It is not advisable to approach the litterbug directly. Instead, call 803-502-4999 when it is safe to do so.

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